Abiteboul Admits Esteban Ocon Not on Daniel Ricciardo’s Level in Renault




When it comes to Renault F1, Daniel Ricciardo takes point and Esteban Ocon plays second fiddle to the Aussie. However, the latter is ready to tussle for the better spot. The competition between Ocon and Ricciardo is a healthy one. But many believe that the Frenchman must accept Ricciardo’s seniority and dominance.

And in line with recent developments, it seems like the Renault Team Principal, Cyril Abiteboul, concurs. “Daniel is a very strong driver. You don’t have to explain that to anyone,” Abiteboul declared.

Daniel Ricciardo is way ahead of Esteban Ocon

Daniel Ricciardo showed real intent while driving for Renault this season. The French marquee have improved in terms of technology, and Ricciardo is having the share of the dividend.

He points out that Esteban Ocon is making some real progress as well. However, he is way behind Ricciardo and needs to cover a long lap before he comes on the equal footing.

“He has become even stronger this year. Because the car has got better and the cooperation with the engineers has improved. The rear of the car has become more stable and that gives Daniel more confidence.

“Esteban is slowly coming back after a one-year break. But he is not as far away from Daniel as it might seem. He has to accept that Daniel is a real benchmark and he has to set himself realistic goals.

Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon during a press conference
Formula One F1 – Tuscan Grand Prix – Mugello, Scarperia e San Piero, Italy Renault’s Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo during a press conference FIA |REUTERS

“Okay, he made a mistake in qualifying at Mugello. But I forgive him for that. It shows me that he is attacking, that he wants more. I prefer that to a driver who simply accepts the status quo and the hierarchy in the team.

“I think the end of the season will still be a hot battle between our two drivers.”

The new season will unfold new opportunities

Ricciardo is all set to leave Renault come 2021 Joining Lando Norris in McLaren, Ricciardo will be replacing Carlos Sainz who is on his way to Ferrari. Renault will be racing under the Alpine name from 2021, and new opportunities await the team.

Cyril Abiteboul and CEO Luca de Meo are working efficiently to improve Renault’s performance. Renault has been showing some strong racing this season itself and with higher hopes and expectations and a new mission in hand, they are hopeful of contending for the Championship from the next season.